It's sad when a child capable of getting an A turns in a C+. That's what Random House Audible has done with the audiobook version of Bossidy and Charan's EXECUTION. This is the triumph of bad design over sound content.
There is no doubt about Larry Bossidy's ability to get things done and to create an environment where others do the same. Based on his record, the authors have developed a compelling vision of the CEO as the man or woman who stays close enough to the details of his operation and the people who make it or break it to push through to success. Here are techniques and attitudes that deserve repeated listening.
Sadly, too few will have the perseverence to pick up the gold nuggets that Bossidy and Charan have scattered across the terrain, for Random House failed them miserably in the design. First, none of the three voices makes for pleasant listening. Bossidy's is harsh, though the best of the three. Through no fault of his own, Charan's South Asian accent will prove hard sledding for many North American listeners. John Bedford Loyd fine stage voice is stentorian in this format, and he comes across as condescending and sarcastic. Worse, the three voices seem mixed and, alas, unmatched as though thrown together at random rather alternated at seams in the book's development.
The audio version is not organized in a way that helps the listener grasp the book's rhythm. The musicial prelude and postlude is great material, but has not been used as it should have been to mark chapter divisions. A brief paragraph introducing a new chapter or section would have segmented the book and made it much more accessible to the harried listener, to whom the whole thing comes across as a slightly bizarre monologue of three voices.
This is just good pedagogy. Audiobook producers everywhere consider it their bread and butter. What was going on at Random House Audible?
Great material. 'Shame about the presentation.
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